Vegan Brunch at Herbivore

Vegan Brunch can be fantastic.  I love a good tofu scramble, with hash browns and toast.  The problem with vegan brunch is that normally you are cooking it yourself!  Being vegan has been one of the best decisions of my life and I have not found the transition overly difficult.  I have figured out how I can eat out in most restaurants without any issues.  But when someone wants to go out for brunch I know a not very exciting meal is in my future.  Oatmeal made with hot water anyone?

Thankfully as veganism has become more popular there are more vegan brunch options.  Given that we have an almost 8 year old any brunch is now a very rare treat.  It is normally more like wolfing down breakfast smoothies on our way to Trey’s sporting events.  Last weekend though we went out for a great vegan brunch and I realized that we haven’t taken Trey out for brunch in a LONG time.

Trey at Brunch

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Breakfast for Dinner with Hash Brown Waffles

When I was a kid one of my favorite dinners was when we had “breakfast for dinner”.  In our house that meant we had waffles for dinner.  It only happened when my dad was traveling for work.  He did not find eating waffles drenched in syrup satisfying or healthy enough for dinner.  When my dad traveled and my mom was exhausted from taking care of 3 kids all day we got to have waffles for dinner.  It was a thrill…no salad, no vegetables, just waffles.

Now breakfast for dinner is one of Trey’s favorite meals.  At our house it involves tofu scramble, potatoes and either toast or waffles.  Tofu scramble is one of those dishes that took awhile to grow on Trey.  He used to just tolerate it, but now he loves it and always asks me to pack leftovers for his lunch.  I use the Tofu Scramble recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance (a favorite cookbook).  Here is a link to the recipe on the Post Punk Kitchen website.

Vegan Breakfast for Dinner

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Lemon Olive Oil Loaf

Dreena Burton’s Vive le Vegan was the first vegan cookbook I purchased that completely blew me away.  It was exactly what I needed as a new vegan.  The book was filled with recipes that I had been missing since becoming vegan: muffins, snacks, breakfasts, dips, and easy, satisfying main dishes.

Since purchasing Vive le Vegan I have purchased every book Dreena publishes.  She writes her recipes in a way that feels like she is in the kitchen with you.  Dreena is raising 3 vegan daughters so her recipes are always kid friendly or she offers kid friendly modifications.  Her books have been an invaluable resource as I raise Trey.

Her most recent book, Let The Eat Vegan, is another hit.   One of my favorite recipes is for Citrus-Scented Almond Muffins.  These muffins are made with olive oil which gives them a very unique, not too sweet flavor.  They also include almond meal which I love as a nutrient boost.

I made my last batch as a loaf rather than as muffins.  On a recent Starbucks trip Trey saw the lemon loaf they sell and asked what it was.  Once I explained it he asked if I could make a vegan version.  I have always let him know that almost everything we see can be made vegan, so he frequently makes this request when he sees food he is interested in trying.  Trey has had the olive oil muffins before and loved them so I decided to recreate them in a loaf form.


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Farmers Market Trip

Every Saturday Trey and I head to the Farmers Market near our home.  The Farmers Market is a major component of my weekly shopping.  I find taking in all of the fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as freshly made breads and snacks, very inspiring for my week of making meals.

I am not someone who goes to the market and just buys what looks good.  If I did that I would come home with WAY too much food.  Everything looks good to me at the market!  I make a weekly meal plan keeping in mind what’s available at the Farmers Market.  My meal plan usually includes 4 specific dinners and basic ideas for lunches and breakfasts.  I then shop at Whole Foods, the Farmers Market and Trader Joes to buy all of my food for the week.

Danville Farmers Market

Trey comes with me on most Saturdays and it is a great way to inspire him to eat more fruits and vegetables. He loves trying samples at the different stands.  Fruits are always a favorite, but he finds vegetables that he likes as well.  I like that he has an understanding of food in its “raw” form, before preparation.  He also has an understanding that all food is not available all the time.  He knows that there is a strawberry season, a grape season etc.

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Vegan Chocolate, Coconut & Oatmeal Cookies

One of the first things I did when I decided to become vegan was to try and “veganize” recipes I already loved to make.  Baking has always been my favorite activity in the kitchen. Given my love of baking, the first recipes I worked to veganize were baked goods.  These chocolate, coconut and oatmeal vegan cookies were one of my early successes.

I found a cookie recipe a few years before I became vegan that became by “go to” cookie.  I loved to make this cookie to take along when I was asked to bring something to a party or event.  These cookies have a delicious combination of coconut, oatmeal, nuts and chocolate that people love.  The combination of chocolate and coconut reminds me of my favorite Girl Scout cookies, Samoas.

Fortunately this delicious cookie recipe was fairly easy to veganize.  The original recipe calls for dairy and eggs which I have replaced.  For the butter I now use Earth Balance and I make “chia eggs” to replace the eggs.  I have also used flax eggs and the packaged “Ener-G” egg substitute successfully in this recipe.

Cookie Mix

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Everyday Breakfast Smoothie

For my first post I thought it was appropriate to share something that I make everyday for my son, Trey.

Trey is 7 (almost 8) and is a lifelong vegan.  He is very active and I like to give him something filling before his long day of school.  Since his school doesn’t allow nuts, a major source of healthy vegan fat, I like to include nut butter in his breakfast.

I started making this smoothie for him about 2 years ago and he has it almost every morning.  It is made with 1/2 to 1/3 of a banana, 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I use SunWarrior), 1.5 TB of peanut butter and 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (from Trader Joe’s).

Smoothie Ingredients

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